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Monday, 2 July 2012

Siblings together

Today please spare a thought for young folk in the care system who, through no fault of their own, are separated from their siblings and risk losing what should be a life-long relationship with their own family.
Swim, Bike, Quilt

When you have siblings, growing up in an ordinary 2.4 family, they can annoy the heck out of you.  I rather take it for granted that I have an older brother and that he was around all the time when I was growing up.  I have never particularly considered what it would have been like had we been separated.  Our adult relationship, although perfectly pleasant, is intermittent and based almost entirely on things that we shared in childhood.  So if our shared childhood had been taken away, I'm not sure what sort of relationship we could maintain today.

A lovely lady called Delma grew up in the care system herself and was separated from her siblings and subsequently found these relationships had been irrevocably damaged.  She decided to set up a charity to try to keep children in touch with separated siblings, so that as they grew up they would have a connection to their real family and a chance to maintain a permanent relationship with their brothers and sisters. 

The care system, and finding the best way to look after vulnerable young people, is highly complex and often (usually) leads to a lot of moving around, uncertainty, and transient relationships.  Delma's idea was to set up summer camps for children to be reunited with their siblings for a short time and to keep that relationship going.

(Photos courtesy of Siblings Together)
However, the camp is for a short time and the continuing separation is for much longer, so Delma wondered if the children could each take away some sort of memento to remind them of their sibling and keep the connection between them alive until the next time they met.

Luckily for her, she came across the inimitable Lynne from Lily's Quilts, and found someone who had not only the ability and the passion to make some quilts for this amazing project, but who would continue to rally support until every quilter in the country is making something for these kids.  Because Lord knows they need every bit of comfort they can get.

At the Fat Quarterly Retreat, I had taken along a 5 yard quilt backing - very pink Ta Dots that didn't seem to match anything else I had - that I didn't have any idea how I would use in the future.  I took it along to see if anyone else could find a use for it.  Someone suggested that I give it to Lynne and that she would find someone with a quilt top so that it could be finished off for Siblings Together.

I hadn't heard of Siblings Together, and when I went up to Lynne and gave her the backing, she began to cry (although to be fair, she was crying practially the whole weekend), so I thought when I got home I would look it up to see what was involved.

If you go over to Lynne's blog today, you can read her story of how she got involved in this wonderful charity.  If you can, please think about pledging to make a quilt, or getting your group to put some blocks together to make a quilt top.

I have a quilt all chopped and ready to sew for my eldest daughter which I am planning to do over the summer.  Happily I have enough fabric to make another one, so I am going to make that for another little girl who deserves to have her family around her too.

So please hop on over today!

Swim, Bike, Quilt
Gertie xxx


  1. Hello lovely, I took on the scraps from our Iron Man challenge and have a top almost pieced, just one block left. This is such a great project isn't it?

  2. You are a superstar Trashalou!

  3. Nice idea to make 2 and then give one away. Di x

  4. It is so true that we don't realise how lucky we are to have siblings around us. Reading all about the charity has really made me think!!
    Great idea for the left over fabric!